Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
In May 2015, Studio Link-Arc completed the China Pavilion for Expo Milano 2015, its most prominent work to date. As China's first free-standing Expo Pavilion beyond its own borders, the design and construction of the project raised a number of issues relevant to current architectural discourse: temporality and the legacy of Expos; nationality and representation; instant place-making and iconicity; and the relationship between parametric design and craft.
This book is not conceived as a monograph that focuses on one project. Instead, it carefully examines the larger ideas woven into the design of the China Pavilion and explores their implications for design and global culture. In addition to presenting the story of the project--from conception through construction and occupancy--the book addresses the larger design forces at play via discussions with key figures in the architecture community.
The parallel reading of the Pavilion dialogues and the project sections provides a deeper understanding of the process of conceiving an Expo, the constraints associated with building within an Expo environment, and the potential for global cultural exchange that is only possible through an event in which thousands of people from diverse backgrounds converge in one locale for a brief moment in time to share ideas and experiences within a physical space that embodies the diversity of global culture.
The ideas seen in the China Pavilion are discussed and expanded by a respected group of professionals, with contributions by Stefano Boeri, Italian architect and one of the original master planners for Expo Milano 2015; Dr. Xiangning Li, Assistant Dean and Professor at Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Visiting Professor in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Daniel Libeskind, the internationally renowned architect and designer of the Vanke Pavilion for Expo Milano 2015; and Studio Link-Arc, the architects of the China Pavilion.
Based in New York City, Studio Link-Arc, LLC is an international team of architects and designers. Our name, Link-Arc, refers to the practice's collaborative nature as well as the company's mission, which is to work across disciplines to create strategy and design in the fields of urban planning, architecture, spatial art and landscape. We accomplish this by linking knowledge, resources, and intelligence from multiple perspectives and diverse backgrounds. Our body of work includes innovative projects at all scales. We see the relationship between architecture and context as an opportunity to create new context, new nature and a new understanding of the world. Through research, we uncover the essential truths unique to each project, and use those truths to create concepts and to shape form. We endeavor to create refined works of architecture that promote contemplation and imagination and provide quiet satisfaction through the act of occupation. We approach each project with an open mind. We work to understand the constraints unique to each project and integrate them into our process, allowing our work to develop in an informed manner. We address societal and cultural issues in our work, which promotes design integrity and the understanding that context extends beyond the physical. Our intellectual approach is based on openness to challenge. We gain strength from diverse cultural backgrounds and contexts and see architecture as a discipline that transcends the pragmatic act of building. We believe that architecture can be an inclusive discipline that rises to the challenges of the current era.